Latest News!! 09-02-2019 ~ Austin Miniatures, Conte, FOV updates. Chicago Toy Soldier Show. Plus some vintage TSSD items.

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I hope everyone is enjoying the Labor Day weekend. Now that the summer is over I am returning to my normal work schedule and will have more time to do some things. In this post I have a few updates and some pictures of some items that I have picked up over the summer. We shall start with some news first.

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THE CHICAGO TOY SOLDIER SHOW IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER! Join us at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg Chicago, Sunday, September 22nd, 10 am – 3:30 pm. This show is the biggest show in the world. All the newest products, prototypes and news can be found here. Plus hard to find vintage toys, custom one of a kind and limited edition sets. You can read more about the show at their website over here, https://chicagotoysoldiershow.com/.

CTSS 2019

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Here is what Conte had post on his FB site in his words below.

Thought you’d like to see 6 ( of 8) poses from Roman Set 1 ‘in action’ .
Please note that the ‘gobs’ supporting shields and such are only ‘there’ to temporarily hold up separately molded parts. They will NOT (obviously) be part of the finished product.

Also, the pila/spears have been artificially made a tad thicker than we’d wanted and designed( so that they inject properly and do not bend or twist) We are hopeful that their thickness will be reduced a bit for the final production while still avoiding any bending…it’s all about compromise when the functioning of the molds vs. playability & original design come into debate….

Lastly, the spearchucker is not holding his pilum at the proper angle as it came loose for the photo-shoot

Can’t wait to show you photos of these fellows mixed with additional poses from sets 2 and 3…

 

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A different view which gives some idea of the full-round nature of these figures. The photos were sent to us this morning BY THE FACTORY. These are actual photos of prototypes for RC’s approval/comment sent to us from THE FACTORY.

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7th & 8th poses from Set 1

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Centurion almost complete; might make some adjustments to the cape ; also working on alternate head and alternate arms. Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing this fellow progress…the problem always is that the large shield hides so much detail.

Austin Miniatures

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Austin Miniatures will have the new Japanese Infantry & US Marine figures and playset available at the Chicago Toy Soldier Show. I will have more information soon about the details of these sets. 

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Forces of Valor is starting to release more new products in 1/32 scale now. The new Russian tanks will available this month. The German tank above should be released next year in March. We should see new items come out on a regular basis now. Next year will see a lot of German, American and some more Russian armored vehicles. There will be more items released other than the ones shown below. 

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Soviet T-34/85 Model 1944 Medium Tank – 55th Guards Tank Brigade, 7th Guards Tank Corps, Berlin, 1945 [Bonus Model V-2 Diesel-Fueled 12-Cylinder Engine] (1:32 Scale)

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Soviet T-34/85 Model 1944 Medium Tank – 95th Guards Tank Brigade, 9th Tank Corps, Berlin, 1945 [Bonus Model V-2 Diesel-Fueled 12-Cylinder Engine] (1:32 Scale)

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Here is the famous “Whittmann” Panzer. German Late Production Sd. Kfz. 181 PzKpfw VI Tiger I Ausf. E Heavy Tank – Michael Wittmann, “007”, schwere SS Panzer Abteilung 101, Cintheaux, France, 1944 [Bonus Maybach HL 230 TRM P45 Engine] (1:32 Scale)

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German Sd. Kfz. 173 Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer – “332”, schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 654, Normandy, 1944 [Bonus Maybach HL230 P30 Engine] (1:32 Scale)

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German 88mm Flak 36 Anti-Aircraft Gun with FLaK Rohr 36 Gun Barrel and Sd. 202 Towing Vehicle – Unidentified Unit, Stalingrad, 1942 (1:32 Scale)

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German Sd. Kfz. 186 Jagdpanzer VI Jagdtiger Heavy Tank Destroyer with Henschel Suspension – schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 653, Germany, 1945 [Bonus Maybach V-12 HL 230 P30 Engine] (1:32 Scale)

FOV 184 Elefant Heavy Tank Destroyer

German Sd. Kfz. 184 Elefant Heavy Tank Destroyer with Zimmerit – schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 653, Italy, 1944 [Bonus Two 300 PS Maybach HL 120 TRM Engines] (1:32 Scale)

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German Mid Production Sd. Kfz. 181 PzKpfw VI Tiger I Ausf. E Heavy Tank with Zimmerit – 3/schwere Panzer Abteilung 501, Orsha, Russia, June 1944 [Bonus Maybach HL 230 TRM P45 Engine] (1:32 Scale)

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You can find these new Tanks at https://www.themotorpool.net/Forces-of-Valor-Tanks-and-Diecast-Military-Vehicles-s/50.htmhttps://www.hobbybunker.com/products/forces-of-valor-16/mfg or eBay, Amazon and other places. Also https://www.michtoy.com/vendors-Forces%20of%20Valor.html sells them too.

 

The Find

Here are some items that I picked up over the summer. In my last post I mentioned that I picked up a Barzso/TSSD “Road To Stalingrad” playset. After I picked up that set I found a few die cast tanks to add to it. Most of them were made by Ultimate Soldier, 21st Century, Unimax or Forces of Valor.

TSSD Russians & Tanks

Here are two WWII Russian tanks by Unimax and Forces of Valor. Plus WWII Russian Infantry by TSSD. All of them are nicely detailed. They are all in 1/32 scale.

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Here are the TSSD Russians in olive green. The T34 tank is made by Unimax.

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Here are the TSSD Russians in Maroon. The KV-1 tank is made by Forces of Valor. 

TSSD Germans

Here are some of the TSSD WWII Germans in long coats for the Russian Invasion. 

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These are early set cast in white gray color.

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The first Tank is made by W. Britain. I found it for $34. It was damaged, but I was able to fix some of it. The barrel on the gun turret was warped. Probably from some accident when it fell and hit the ground. There was a small crack on the bottom of the track. I was able to heat up the gun barrel and straighten it out.

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Here is another German tank. I think this one is a Panther. It was made by 21st Century toys.

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The half-track is made by Forces of Valor. The figures that came with this set are really nice. They make an epic piece in any collection. The look nice with other brands of toy soldiers in 1/32 scale.

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I ordered some trees about a month ago from Micshaun’s Closet. Each tree was $12.99. The details are great. It is a nice size. The tree measures about 9 & 1/2 inches tall.

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So if you need any Germans, Russians or trees head over to https://micshaunscloset.com/they carry plenty of different sets from multiple companies.

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These die cast tanks are great. But they can also cost a lot of money. But if you are patient you find these die cast vehicles at good to fair prices. The Forces of Valor are the best in my opinion.

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Over the summer I have purchased a few figure lots. In these lots there was either different sets from the same brand or different brands mixed together. I picked up a few vintage WWII Russian Infantry figures in different colors.

Airfix Russians

Here are some of the orange Airfix Russians that I think were made in the late 1980’s. 

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These Marx recast Russian figures I think were cast in the 1990’s??

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I have never seen these in yellow before until I got them in a figure lot. They are nicely cast. They are marked Marx on the bottom. They are 1/32 in scale.

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It is a few weeks away from the big show. I can’t wait to hear about and see the newest products that are going to be released. I should have a post before or maybe two post before the show. That is it for now. Thank you for reading.

An Interview with Austin Beidelschies of Austin Miniatures.

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In 2013 Austin Miniatures started production of plastic toys soldiers plus foam buildings, terrain bases and accessories. Their figures can be compared to Conte figures in scale and detail. The first figure set made was of cowboys. They followed later with a set of Marines for the Pacific Theater.

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Marines

I noticed their figures about the time I started collecting again after about a 10 year absence. I had picked up a set of the WWII Marines a couple of years ago. They have nice details and mix well with other brands.

Recently I was able to chat with Austin Beidelschies. Austin is the son of Dan Beidelschies. Together they are now expanding the product line of Austin Miniatures. He was able to take some time to answer a few questions.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Hi Austin. My first question is; can you tell us about yourself and how did Austin Miniatures get started?

 

Austin: My name is Austin Beidelschies, I am 19 years old and I am the concept artist and painter for Austin Miniatures. My dad (Dan Beidelschies) started up Austin Miniatures in 2013 and named the company after me in hopes that I would eventually take over the business. Which I am most definitely going to do. The passion for toy soldiers started with my dad when his mom bought him a Marx Battleground Playset when he was just 8 years old. Like some of us he “grew up” and got rid of his toy soldiers. He still regrets doing it to this day. It wasn’t until his late twenties that he reconnected with toy soldiers again. He saw Conte’s Airborne figures on the internet and was so amazed at how detailed they were. So then I got to grow up with all these great WW2 figures from his collection. He would make these giant dioramas that went from the kitchen to the end of our living room. Playing with Conte’s WW2 figures is how my passion for toy soldiers began. I was around 14 years old when we released our western figures. Since I have grown I have been becoming increasingly more involved into Austin Miniatures. Just last year I created some concept sketches of a new set of WW2 US marines and now they are in the hands of our sculptor who is making a new set of US Marines. These will be the first Figures coming from Austin Miniatures that I have designed.

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Warhorse Miniatures: I recently picked up some of your cowboys the details are really nice. Why did you start here as your first set of figures?

 

Austin: We decided to do cowboys as our first set because we love the idea of the wild west. This era of American history happened very fast but so many awesome characters and battles have came from the wild west era. My dad grew up watching many western movies. It just seemed right to make cowboys for our first set.

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Warhorse Miniatures: I have seen your prototypes of the WWII Japanese Infantry for a few years now and heard you were supposed to produce that set years ago. Can you tell us more about this?

 

Austin: We have been teasing you with the Japanese figures for a very long time. The simple answer as to why you don’t have them yet is life. We are not a multi million dollar corporation like Hasbro or Mattel, we are just normal everyday Americans. Sometimes life gets in the way of our goals and aspirations. But they are going to be available for purchase this year so we can all look forward to that. Trust me I want to make shooting noises and knock over the Japanese figures just as much as you guys do. We at Austin Miniatures are just as much collectors as we are producers.

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Warhorse Miniatures: This year looks like it might be a break out year for you with the announcement of a few news sets to be produced. Can you tell us more about your plans?

 

Austin: So for 2019 we have 3 new sets planned as well as a pacific theatre playset. We have another set of WW2 US Marines coming after the Japanese. The new Marines are being sculpted as we speak and will include 2 riflemen, an NCO with a Thompson, a Navajo code talker radio man, and a new and improved BAR gunner. Included in the set will also be interchangeable arms and equipment. This will be very useful for the guy who likes to convert their figures. For example; the radio man can swap his radio for a backpack turning him into a standard infantryman. Maybe you want him to have an M1 Garand instead of a carbine, you can do this with our new set. Because of our new system we were also able to include the parts to make a Marine with a Winchester model 97 shotgun which I am very excited about. After the Marines we have more cowboys in the works. So far the new set of cowboys will include a Mexican bandito, “Old Timer”, an Indian scout, and the kneeling rifleman that we have not yet released yet. As for the playset it is going to include everything you need for a battle in the pacific. Marines, Japanese, one of our foam battlefields, BMC amtracs, Pegasus palm trees and some other accessories. If this playset sells well you will definitely see more playsets from us. We have all those awesome western buildings so it only makes sense to do a couple western playsets.

Western Figures

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Warhorse Miniatures: Are you planning on releasing the playset this year will you be releasing it for next year?

 

Austin: We are planning to have the playset ready for sale at this year’s Chicago toy soldier show.

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The playset could look something like this? These are pictures from the Austin Miniatures.

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Warhorse Miniatures: I collect mainly Dark Age or Medieval figures and early American Colonial figures. I recently started collecting WWII & Western figures. Do you have any plans on ever making Medieval figures or Colonial figures?

 

Austin: We currently have no plans for medieval or colonial figures. However we are gonna be coming out with a bunch of new stuff in the next couple of years. I will just say that NOTHING is off the table. We are collectors just like you guys, except we can produce figures. So we might see a new movie or read a new book that gets us excited for a certain battle or war. If there is enough demand for something we will definitely consider it. There are many sets that I personally would like to produce. World War two is my favorite time period so I would like to make Waffen SS and US GI’s some day. The big conflict when I was growing up was the war on terror in the Middle East, I have always wanted to make modern marines and insurgents. The possibilities for the future of Austin Miniatures are endless. I believe the future of the toy soldier hobby is very bright. The third “Golden Era” of toy soldiers is coming.

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Warhorse Miniatures: Here is my last question. I would like to thank you and your father for taking your time to answer the questions. Is there anything else you would like to say to the collectors?

 

Austin: Thank you for the interview! The only other thing we would like to say to the collectors is thank you for your continued support to Austin Miniatures and to all the other great producers in the toy soldier community. Keep an eye out for our new products, we will be posting pictures of our new sculpts as we get them.

Besides selling plastic toy soldiers, they also offer painted sets too.

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Here are some comparison pictures below of Austin figures with some other brands out there.  Their Pacific Marines are some of the best World War II plastic figures since Conte released his WWII figures. 

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You can see more at the Austin Miniatures website. They also sell on ebay at https://www.ebay.com/usr/maschefie2005. To get the latest news go to the Austin Miniatures page on Facebook.

If you like to make displays or dioramas, their foam buildings are really nice. Some detachable roofs and/or 2 stories. They also have a few accessories, like a Gallow. 

I am excited about the news of the World War II Japanese Infantry and future WWII sets. It was nice to also talk to someone that is young and so passionate about the hobby of Toy Soldiers. It looks like Austin will be taking an active part for a long time. The future does look bright. I hope we do enter another “Golden Age”.

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Thank you for reading. That is it for now 🙂